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Four Deakin researchers will be heading off to Sydney to work on the high tech equipment at the Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), as a result of the latest round of AINSE awards.
The awards follow the recent announcement of this year’s AINSE Gold Medal winner, Carbon Nexus researcher Dr Nisa Salim.
Associate Professor Bronwyn Fox and Dr Nishar Hameed, also from Carbon Nexus, have been awarded grants to undertake research (along with student Mr Srinivas Nunna) on the SAXS small angle x-ray scattering facility at ANSTO.
The equipment is located at the Bragg Institute in Sydney and is part of the commonwealth-funded ANSTO.
The third award was presented to Dr Hashmath Hussain, from the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, who will spend time on the high energy heavy ion microprobe analysis facility at ANSTO.
Dr Fox and Dr Hameed will both be investigating, at the nano-scale, methods for improving carbon fibre, with Dr Fox researching the stabilisation process for the manufacturing of high performance carbon fibre and Dr Hameed exploring the dispersion of graphene in flexible nanocomposite films, which has potential applications in both carbon fibre and energy applications.
Dr Hameed said that he has used the equipment at ANSTO several times and received a post-graduate research scholarship from AINSE that enabled him to use the SAXS equipment during his PhD.
“ANSTO are very supportive of visiting researchers,” he said. “They have an excellent team of scientists who work alongside the researchers during discussions and experiments.”
Dr Hussain, who is studying targeted nanoparticle biomolecule delivery systems for plants, will use ANSTO’s high energy proton beam to quantify the nano particles that have been introduced into specific plants and measure the release of biomolecules within them.
Dr Hussain has been working in collaboration with Professor David Cahill (SEBE), Professor Lingxue Kong (IFM) and Dr Tom Cresswell, an isotope ecologist at ANSTO. Their research involves developing the nanodelivery of agro-chemicals and plant hormones into crop plants using “gatekeeping technology.”
At the cutting edge of plant molecular biology, this research has the potential to create more productive crops that can thrive in harsher conditions and have increased resistance to disease.
AINSE was established in 1958 to provide access to the Bragg Institute for universities and other tertiary institutions - and to provide a focus for co-operation in the nuclear scientific and engineering fields.